Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    June 23, 2012 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

8:30 pm
8:31 pm
in the draft that he circulates, he opposes congressional evidents to amend the constitution. in his draft he says, i'm for the old ship. he knew congress was debating this but they hadn't passed it. he vows to reclaim the federal forts that had been captured rather than simply preserve those that remain in federal hands. in his draft it is a firmer
8:32 pm
ending. his draft he ends by saying with you and not with me of peace. your choice. he circulates this draft to william stewart in particular who thinks it is way too strong. plus some other republican advisers, orville browning, frances blair. based on their recommendations, he changes it. now he supports the 13th amendment. now he vows only to protect federal courts under control. now he has this memorable -- truly brilliant, softer ending. misty cords of memory to every living heart all over this broad land will yet swell the chorus of the union when again touched as surely they will be by the better angels of our nature. the language actually comes primarily from william seward who suggest this is for the
8:33 pm
ending. the mystic chords which -- it didn't have the musical ear lincoln dichltd he suggests the mystic chords but in a clunky phrase. lincoln as a literary person develops it into the last stanza. so the southern response to the inaugural, southerners interpret it as a declaration of war. here's one quote from south carolina. racializes lincoln saying he's an orangutan, to battle. many southerners characterize lincoln's vice president hannibal hamlin as a mulato. they joke around they would like to assassinate lincoln but that means a mul a ato is president.
8:34 pm
we don't want that. they hated it because he calls slavery evil. remember to southerners the very idea that one calls slavery evil is a threat to southern honor and southerners understand the laws depend on morality. higher law proliferates because northerners believe in slavery's evil. when lincoln brilliantly summarizes the central debate of the war, one side believes slavery is right, not to be extended. the other side believes it is evil. no one disagrees. they are just outraged that he would call slavery evil. they are outraged he says it's treason.
8:35 pm
he's thumbing his nose at the supreme court. particularly the dred scott decision. he says the candid citizen must confess if the policy of the government upon vital questions is to be fixed by the decisions of the supreme court the people may have ceased to be their own rulers. having resigned their government into the hands of that tribunal. in the past it passed the idea that the supreme court can overturn acts of legislature. this summarizes the confederate view of secession. this is from vice president alexander stevens. our new government rests upon
8:36 pm
the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man. this is the first in the history of the world based on philosophical and world truth. to continue depict this acceptance, this notion is inflammatory. what's the northern response? most republicans and democrats liked it. it's profoundly subtle. in a sense it has something for everyone. that's a brilliant document in many respects. both progressive and conservative as i have suggested. although abolitionists hated it. because of lincoln's conciliatory posture to slave owning southerners. frederick douglas says it is little better than our worst fears. you have read some of the response. he refers to lincoln as double-tongued. because he's elected on a platform to confine slavery
8:37 pm
where it is. where the public mind shall believe in its extinction. in his essay, douglas is quoting lincoln and endorsing the amendment to guarantee slavery. for douglas and others it's courting the favor of rebels. douglas agrees that the confederates are pebbles. that's the term that was used. in fact, lincoln never dig any identifies confederates by referring to them as such. he calls them rebels. the closest is saying throughout the war's so-called confederacy. so-called confederates. to use the term confederates or confederacy legitmates the secession of the government. douglas is saying, you're courting the favor of the rebels. as close as douglas comes to abandoning his faith in national
8:38 pm
ideals, articulated in the declaration is immediately after reading lincoln's inaugural address. he plans a trip to haiti. he plans to see if, in fact, it is the black republic he's read about. if it is he's going to move there, settle there and encourage other blacks to do the same. with lincoln as president there is no way the nation can come close to achieving national ideals. now he doesn't go to haiti. doesn't go on this trip. anyone know why? of course not. harper's weekly. this is from the perspective of confederates. so lincoln right after he gives the inaugural address goes to the white house. the first item of business is
8:39 pm
this memo from major robert anderson. the commander of fort sumner with a dispatch saying supplies are going to last only another week or two. my men are going to starve to death or have to surrender unless you send us supplies. lincoln is faced with a profound choice. fort sumter is in the heart of the confederacy off charleston, south carolina. in a sense he has three options. he can try to shoot his way in. send gun boats and arms. if he does that he's going to be accused of starting the war. he'll outrage southerners. he could give up fort sumter and say, take it. we don't need it. take it. he'll divide the north. northerners will be outraged
8:40 pm
he's not defending federal property. or he can do what he did which is to send a boat with provisions only. no guns, no arms. notify the south carolina governor in advance. just to let you know we are seeing food because the men are starving. this is not an act of belligerence. they are starving to death. they are in a federal fort. that way it's on them for starting the war. it's a brilliant war. south carolinans refused to allow this aide of food to reach fort sumner. on april 12th at 4:30 a.m. they begin bombing fort sumter for 33 hours until the surrender.
8:41 pm
there is a perspective from harper's weekly. they had sketch artists, the precursors of photo journalists on site. they draw the sketch. send it to head quarters. they were cutting from the sketch. lincoln calls for 75,000 troops for 90 days. northerners and southerners both thought the war would last no more than three months. both sides thought the war would end quickly. southerners felt because of their long tradition of marshal ideas of fighting which was one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the south. duels were common. southerners thought it would take ten northerners to defeat one southerner. northerners felt because of their manpower, their industrial base they would just destroy the
8:42 pm
south in three months. very few people thought the war would last more than six months. lincoln, the desire for revenge and the unity among most northerners is such that he could have raised 400,000 troops. it unites northern whites as never before. douglas acknowledges it. the government has aroused. the dead north is alive. abolitionists, one of the t fascinating aspects of abolit n abolitionists is when lincoln gives his inaugural self-described abolitionists are still tiny minority. they are still despised. what transforms abolitionists into respected prescient critics of the american scene is fort sumter. they are respected as never
8:43 pm
before. now there are more people attending abolitionist meetings than ever before. the war proves them right. the greatest reason for why abolitionists were excoriated is no longer on the table. they threaten to divide the country. they threaten to incite disunion. the fort sumner because of lincoln calling for troops leads to the sect secession between april and early may. in fact, lincoln suspends habs corpse and imprisons maryland politicians in an attempt to prevent maryland from seceding. from the outset the reason why douglas stays and doesn't go to haiti is he understands that this military war is worth it to attend slavery.
8:44 pm
from the beginning douglas is by this point if not the most respected, one of the most respected abolitionists and probably the most famous. because of his brilliance as an orator and writer. douglas says, end slavery immediately. arm blacks. they would be thrilled to fight. he says by preventing whites from being soldiers he says you're only fighting with your right hand. by ending slavery and arming blacks you tap into a vital black power and quickly and
8:45 pm
easily vanquish the confederacy. >> having it contrasted with the other douglas reading we did it seems he's taking on more of a national identity. does that happen only after secession? >> yes. douglas becomes a national spokesperson for the abolitionists and for the north really during the civil war. he's already a household name on the eve of the civil war. but the civil war makes douglas far more famous than even before. in fact, if the wake of the war after the war becomes an elder stat statesman. he becomes a republican insider. he's very closely involved. through every newspaper he devotes the paper to coverage of the war, his views and other
8:46 pm
views. takes on those of lincoln, other republicans. his speeches are now to more people than ever before. he's a national mouthpiece. that's a great way to summarize it. he calls for refuelling the fugitive sight law. after all, why dig ni fany iden this. any slavery. 4 million slaves will know who their friends are and their enemies. blacks constitute a third of the south in terms of population. they know the landscape, the rivers. they can be indispensable
8:47 pm
sources of aid. the fifth reason is if you right up front make this an abolition war england in particular, there is no way to recognize the confederacy. england is leading the western world in seeking to perpetuate this wave of emancipation. and although england is losing money because immediately after the war the union creates a blockade around the south preventing southerners from sending cotton to england to be turned into finished goods and cloth so the textile workers and owners in england are suffering profoundly. if the war is an abolition war england won't recognize the confederacy. until then, it's up for grabs. other thoughts on douglas's
8:48 pm
response to lincoln and douglas's view of the war a? you had a number of pieces from douglas. >> i'm just interested in england's motivation in not recognizing the confederacy. if the union is preventing england from getting goods that it needs it seems england would see more in the union than the confederacy. >> that's a great question. from an economic spp the union is more of an enemy than a friend to england. when it emancipated slavery in the west indies and the emancipation more generally is when people made a decision that went against the pocketbook. when england passed its
8:49 pm
emancipation act they knew it was costing immense amounts of money. they specifically made the decision in which their moral vision outstripped their economic desire. >> they were proud of that. they also felt there would be a level playing field economically. but they were proud of that. and as i mentioned before, by 1860, most of the new world had apolished slavery. slavery, it's the west's first big business. england was sensitive to the fact that the moral claims and their desire to realize them will trump economic incentives. now that was debated. england ultimately comes close to leaving the confederacy. had lincoln not eliminated the
8:50 pm
emancipation proclamation after antetum, within two weeks england was close to recognizing the confederacy. had england recognized the recognized the confederacy, essentially that would have meant a confederate victory, because now england could break the blockade, more importantly. now the confederacy could receive guns, ships, armaments from the powerhouse of england. yeah. >> i was going to say, aside from the moral reasons for england not being involved in the war, like on the practical level, it, like, the opportunity never came up where it made sense. because the union navy was much stronger than -- if the confederacy had a navy that was equal to the confederacy, or to the navy of the union, and so it would have just been the british navy against the union navy which to be fair the british navy was strong, but they're in enemy territory. >> right. >> moreover, it's kind of like
8:51 pm
in the american revolution where french involvement didn't come until there was a turning point in the war, where the colonists had already demonstrated enough victories to kind of be like a sure thing. and i feel like the confederacy never got together, was always kind of a tug and war between the union and confederacy. >> right. i think that's a good point. there's a relatively new book that argues the union blockade was not that effective. and so had england recognized the confederacy, it would have just blown apart that blockade. and the cotton could have easily been shipped here to england. yeah. >> i think what douglass recognizes is the union actually needed the ideal of fighting for slavely to become more efficient in its war practices. >> that's right. that's very good. >> up until that point, up until ending the fugitive slave law, up until emancipation, there was also the question of compromise.
8:52 pm
>> yes. >> i think douglass declares how this creates inefficiency, weak heartedness. there's always the lingering question of, if the south will compromise, we will give up certain elements. and douglas saw what many northerners weren't willing to accept which is that the south viewed the north as enemies while the north had not yet given up the south as sort of brotherly states. with the addition of, like, the slavery ideal, we're fighting to end slavery, the war can't end if the south compromises. the south has to give in. and i think this -- i think that that put the war into an entirely new terms. the only way that the war was going to end in the north's favor was if they fought wholeheartedly against an enemy and not just for reuniting with compromise. >> that's a great point.
8:53 pm
i mean, douglass -- those are great points. douglass recognized what many people didn't until near the end of the war and that is to win the war and to preserve the union, you had to completely vanquish the south and it had to lead to an unconditional surrender. because southerners, all they have to do is hang on. they can suffer as many military defeats as you want, but as long as they remain a confederacy, as long as they don't surrender unconditionally, no matter how destroyed their territory is, they can remain a separate nation. and slavery was the centerpiece of that nation. yeah. >> we see this whole, this england, the importance of england, making the moral point about ending slavery with jon stewart mill when he talks about
8:54 pm
america. he basically argues, he's a liberal, he supports people's rights, you know, sometimes insurrection revolution can be okay. he makes a distinction where he says on 142 he says, secession may be laudable and so many of the other kind of insurrection but may also be an enormous crime. it's the one or the other according to the object and the provocation. and basically then argues that the rebels, the confederates, they're basically, though they're trying to fight for their independence, they're enemies of man kind. on the page before, he says they're not in rebellion for civil slavery. they're in rebellion for the right of burning human creatures alive and argues there is this moral distinction, like there's some people who are good for fighting back and some people who are not. in this case, like these people are just straight-up evil. >> that's very good. >> and we need to get -- we can't support them. >> that's a great point. that's a very good point.
8:55 pm
in fact, let's jump to the -- to the england's dilemma. caught -- the people who suffered the most in england were the working class textiles, the mill workers. they were literally starving to death. even before the civil war, you couldn't call them free in the way most political theorists define freedom and that individual freedom is the freedom of mobility. the millworkers didn't have a choice of getting a job elsewhere. they were truly exploited and with a blockade and with the secession of cotton being imported, textiles, the factories either shut down or they had work stoppages. and it reached a point by mid 1862 in which throughout england there are massive drives for food, for money, that will prevent the deaths, literally
8:56 pm
the deaths of the mill workers. this is from the front page of "illustrated london news." it's somehow blurry. the time has gone by for any nice measurement of the extent to which destitution prevails in the cotton district. that was no exaggeration. absolute destitution. here's another full page from "illustrated london news" showing a soup and food drive. the thousands of people who are making food just to prevent these mill workers from starving to death. now, mill, in a sense, represents the -- john stewart mill represents the mill workers' voice. the cotton spinners, in england, were among in many respects the heroeses of the civil war. because although they were being exploited, they refused to encourage england to recognize the confederacy. why? because although they were
8:57 pm
explo exploited working class mill workers, they understood that slavery, they believed that slavery threatened their own dignity and identity as free laborers. that they were proud of being free labors even though they weren't making that much. that slavery threatened that. they were the staunchest supporters of the union, of the opportunity to end slavery. mill in his essay in a sense is voicing that view. workers, they're starving to death because of the union blockade. and mill spoke for them. workers refused to recognize the confederacy, break the union blockade, and they truly should be seen as among the great heroes of the war collectively. marks, carl marks who wrote a column for horace greeley's "new york tribune" in the 1850s and
8:58 pm
followed the war passionately because he saw the war as a step in his vision of communism and believed that the war reflected the unity of the working classes internationally and here he essentially says as much. he says the misery that the stoppage of the factories and the labor time motivated by the blockade of the slave states produced among the workers in the northern manufacturing districts is incredible. so on the one hand, they're facing total misery. working class is conscious that the government is only waiting for their cry from the pressure. now, marks is off base, in my view, in thinking that social change always occurs from the margins. that if the working classes just actually come together, that's going to produce a revolution. historically, it's a dialectic between what goes on in the marngens and what goes on in the seats of power. but he's right in noting that
8:59 pm
they're refusing to call for the working -- the working classes in england are refusing to call for a recognition of the confederacy, and, in fact, they're supporting the united states. so this is a brilliant proof of the indestructible excellence of english classes. mill and marks understood what was going on. yeah? microphone. >> i was just going to say that it seems like the working class in england recognized maybe deeper motives that haven't been that much discussed in southern government which is that as much as they discuss states rights and democracy, there were elements of an oligarchky about the type of government they set up. it's interesting that marks actually describes the civil war as partially a social war, and a struggle between class systems. i think you see

83 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on